Colin Kaepernick: Broncos set trade value at 4th round pick?

According to a report from Michael Silver of the NFL Network, the Denver Broncos have set the value of Colin Kaepernick at a 4th round level. How can they get a deal done?

Things seem to be on ice with the Denver Broncos and a potential trade for Colin Kaepernick. Mark Sanchez was just introduced to the media on Monday, and he won a lot of people over with the things he said.

Plus, you know, he was told by John Elway himself that he’d be competing for the starting job.

While Sanchez gets ready to compete for a starting job in Denver, the Broncos move on to their ‘next’ step in the QB fracas, Sanchez being the ‘first’ step per Elway’s words. That next step would presumably hinge on whether or not the San Francisco 49ers are willing to part with QB Colin Kaepernick.

NFL Network’s Michael Silver has been on top of the Kaepernick/Broncos/Browns saga, and he’s now saying that the Broncos value Kaepernick at a 4th round level.

Whew.

As recently as Sunday, some were talking as though the Broncos might have to part with a first round pick to get Kaepernick, and that they’d be okay with it. I can’t say I’d ever really be alright with that, especially given his struggles in recent years, his contract, as well as his (lack of) willingness to play in San Francisco.

The Broncos have some leverage here, as Kaepernick is due a large wad of cash from the Niners coming up in early April. They can afford to be patient, but the Niners presumably have the leverage of a second interested party — the Cleveland Browns — who could out-bid the Broncos if they wanted to.

There are much scarier things than acquiring Kaepernick and letting him battle it out with Mark Sanchez for the starting job in Denver. One such idea is that of trading for Mike Glennon. Get out of here with that mess…

Earlier on Monday, Jeff Legwold said that the Broncos have looked into Robert Griffin III, but that appears to be a fallback plan at this point. Right now, the only actual interest RG3 has received was a reported visit and sit-down meal with the New York Jets, who aren’t likely to make a move until the situation with Ryan Fitzpatrick is settled.

The thought that ‘deadlines spur action’ means that the next real deadline we have is April 1st when Kaepernick is due a lot of money from the Niners. After that, it’s the draft.

Every day between now and then, the value of these QBs goes down significantly.

How could the Broncos consummate a trade if they value Kaepernick at a 4th round level?

‘Well, Sayre, that seems obvious. Just throw a 4th round pick at the Niners…Duh.’

It’s not that simple. The Broncos have a 4th round pick this year, but it cannot be traded. Compensatory picks will not be ‘tradeable’ assets until the 2017 NFL Draft, which sort of stinks for the Broncos given their current situation.

Denver has two third round picks and a fourth round pick, two of which are compensatory. They have their first and second round picks which are probably going to be untouchable with the current state of the roster, so you have a few options to get creative.

A. The 49ers could suck it up and trade Kaepernick for a future 4th

B. Trade a 3rd rounder for Kaepernick and a 5th

C. Broncos overpay, trade a future 2nd for Kaepernick

My favorite option would be to trade a conditional future pick for Kaepernick, as in a 2017 3rd that could go as high as a 2nd or as low as a 4th based on Kaepernick’s performance, the Broncos’ playoff success, or some combination of the two.

We saw that a few years ago with the Oakland Raiders and Cincinnati Bengals, where the Raiders traded considerable assets for Carson Palmer, who had retired from football. In fact, it wouldn’t be the first time the Niners had done something like that either.

After Alex Smith was benched for Kaepernick, he was traded to the Chiefs for a 2nd round pick in the current draft (2014) and a conditional 3rd that became a 2nd in the following (2015) draft.

I don’t think Kaepernick is worth that much in a trade right now, especially if the Broncos are low-balling a 4th round value, but what if they did a 5th rounder this year and a conditional 3rd next year?

That’s something I think everyone could get on board with.

At any rate, waiting for this trade to happen or not happen has caused me a significant headache, so just know that you are not alone.